.🌒🛰🔴🪐👨🚀 Life on Mars
🇰🇷🇲🇳 Claire returns from her otherworldly exile, while Robert Zubrin visits South Korea and Mongolia to talk space.
From Claire—What a wonderful vacation.
People are always telling me I need to “take a break” from the news for the sake of my “mental health.” I regard this advice with scorn, not least because it suggests my interlocutor doesn’t quite get what I do for a living, but also because the idea that mental health requires ignorance of the rest of the world is so morally stupid. If reading the news bothers you so much, I figure, you should do something to solve all the problems you’re reading about, not pretend they’re not happening.
But perhaps the people who keep saying that to me have a point. I just loved being on vacation. It was so peaceful, so sleepy, so golden. Someone said to me—à propos of what, I can’t recall—“Yeah, what’s that country over there where they’re having a war? You know, in Eastern Europe?”
“Do you mean Ukraine?” I said.
“Yeah! That’s right. That’s the one!” He was pleased to remember what it was called. Seriously, I might as well have been on Mars.
I loved it. I loved it so much that honestly, I’m having a bit of trouble getting back to work. I’ve been back in Paris for two days, but I haven’t quite been able to sit down, concentrate, and write anything. I keep dawdling and procrastinating. Maybe I resent that advice so deeply because I know, deep down, that if I give in to that temptation I’m at real risk of liking it so much that I never do a day’s work again.
But I’ll snap out of it. Just give me another day to get my groove back. In any event, there’s a lot to write about. If you’ve glanced at the headlines recently, you know what I mean. And we’ll get to all of it this week. But today—speaking of being on Mars—you’ll be hearing from Robert Zubrin, who has been much more industrious recently than I have.
Robert and his wife, Hope, just returned from South Korea. He was the keynote speaker at an annual conference sponsored by The Seoul Economic Daily, the Korean version of The Wall Street Journal. Every year, they choose a theme of special interest to the nation, and this year, the theme was space. So they invited Robert.
Then, since they were in Asia, they took a detour to examine the suitability of the Gobi Desert as a site for a Mars analog research station to train astronauts. Mongolians, you’ll be surprised to learn—he certainly was—are positively cuckoo for Mars exploration. He was received like visiting royalty. He wrote about both trips for us, and you’ll surely find his impressions as interesting as I did.
So today, I bring you—Robert Zubrin!
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